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London Travel Guide – Weekend Edition

So, you’re off to London for the weekend but not sure what activities to do or where to eat? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. This article will help you plan your Friday to Sunday trip for two from Ireland to London and give top-tier suggestions for every day.

We’ll cover everything from food to culture to coffee and fun of course! This plan can also work around a pre-existing trip and you can pick and choose certain elements.

Let’s get started…

Friday – Day One

Day one of your getaway; you fly over and most likely land in Gatwick or Stansted airport, either way, the best method into the city is to hop on the Gatwick or Stansted Express right to London. Prices for these trains vary but they are usually relatively cheap, especially for students and during off-peak times. Once you arrive in London, head to your accommodation, drop the bags and head out (even if your check-in isn’t until later in the day, ask your hotel/hostel/Airbnb if you can drop your bags early and come back later to check-in.

After you’ve dropped your bags I think it will be time for food. London has a culinary choice for everyone, but I’ve included some of my favourites below;

First up is Homeslice Pizza in Neal’s Yard – Neal’s Yard is a small but beautiful alley in London that opens up into a colourful courtyard, filled with gorgeous cafes, bars, and delicious restaurants, including Homeslice. Homeslice offers 20-inch pizzas, both whole and by the slice and let me tell you… it’s worth the hype. 5-star pizza and it’s also extremely aesthetically pleasing for those Insta queens and kings out there. 

However, if pizza isn’t your thing you could try Beigel Bake at Brick Lane Bakery for lunch. Beigel Bake has every type of bagel you could imagine and more, perfect with a bag of crisps and some fizzy or a cup of coffee. 

Once you’ve filled up on tasty food, it’s time for some sightseeing and I definitely recommend seeing the classics. First up are the basics, such as Big Ben (probably under construction) and the London Eye. Do you need to go on the London Eye? No. But if you have never been to London before it is definitely cool to see, especially from Westminster Bridge, which gives you a great view of both attractions. Now depending on the time of year you go, you can walk down the South Banks by the London Eye and grab a coffee to-go from one of the many coffee trucks whilst listening to the various street performers on your way. 

After this it may be time to head back to the accommodation, chill out and get ready for dinner and drinks.

For dinner, I suggest heading over to Camden or Soho, both have plenty of options and great atmospheres. Plus the restaurant choices have everything, from Asian cuisine to steak houses to Japanese to a good ole Irish pub. 

After this if you’re not ready to end the night then I would recommend heading to the secret cocktail bar, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. The address is 12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS and you can book online or over the phone, it has very chill vibes and makes it even more fun that it’s hidden. 

Once you’re ready to leave the bar, head home but on your way stop in a shop and grab some water as most hotels charge way too much for water and oftentimes the bar might be closed for tap water.

Then go to sleep and rest up for another fun day tomorrow. 

Saturday – Day Two

Good morning and welcome to day two of your London adventure. First on the agenda is breakfast. Breakfast options in London are truly endless so I have included five incredible spots you can choose from. To decide, I recommend googling the menu or perusing Instagram to make your selection.

  • The Good Egg, Soho
  • DRUNCH
  • Bad Egg (has an option for a boozy brunch)
  • The Breakfast Club
  • DRURY 188-189

This next section is for my Harry Potter fans out there. After breakfast head to Kings Cross Station for your daily dose of Harry Potter. Afterwards, you could pop into the Harry Potter 9 and 3/4 shop located nearby (try not to buy everything).

Next up is a possible trip to the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park (shout-out to my Mary Kate and Ashley and Winning London fans). To get there jump on the Victoria Line, at King’s

Cross St. Pancras underground station and go 3 stops to Oxford Circus. From there you need to jump on the Central Line towards West Ruislip and get 3 stops to Lancaster Gate, which is only a 4-minute walk from Hyde Park and the statue.

After you find the statue and live the Mary Kate and Ashley fairy-tale, you could stroll around Hyde Park and go find Kensington Palace. 

If you’re anything like me it will now be coffee time, I suggest Kafi for a good brew but if you want to elevate your Instagram game then EL&N cafe, Peggy Porschen, Saint Aymes or Farm Girl is where it’s at. They also do tasty aesthetic treats (YUM)!

If you’re in the shopping mood after coffee I suggest heading to Oxford Street to WestField in Stratford, both only a tube ride or two away and have infinite shops. 

After shopping, head back to your accommodation, get dressed up and get ready for dinner and a show. 

For dinner, I suggest Neat Burger (even you non-vegetarians will like it, trust me) or any nice Italian is a good shout as well. 

Once dinner has finished, head to your West End show (most evening shows start at 7:30 pm so plan accordingly). To find a list of what shows are available at what times, visit https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/whats-on

After the show ends, if you’re up for some drinks you could head to Ballie Ballerson for a slightly more upbeat cocktail bar, with a ball-pit- yes, a ball-pit in the bar. However, if you want a slightly more chill atmosphere but still a fun vibe then head to The Alchemist, very funky drinks and not as wild as Ballie Ballerson. 

Then head home, pack your bags for the morning and get some rest. 

Sunday – Day Three

And just like that, it’s your last day :( But fear not, we will still make the most of it (again this plan can be changed where needed based on flight times).

Check out from accommodation, but ask the place to hold your bags until later (most places won’t mind) and head to one of the breakfast suggestions from Saturday, they’re all delicious. 

After breakfast I have included a list of possible activities based on the time you have left ;

  • Head to Covent Garden and have a walk around the markets
  • Go to Camden Market 
  • Head to Victoria Park Market, they have a farmers market every Sunday
  • Head to Trafalgar Square for a wander around
  • Play some PLONK crazy golf

My personal choice would be one of the markets, as who doesn’t enjoy a Sunday market. Great food, finds and coffee, the perfect combination.

After your chosen activity, head for some food. There are great spots by some of the markets so you can grab something there.

Head back to the hotel, grab your bags and head towards the Gatwick or Stansted Express. 

Go through security, have a look around duty-free, maybe grab some snacks and when it’s time, board the plane.

Then fly home safely and reminisce on a great trip :)

THE END

I hope you enjoyed this little London travel guide, weekend edition and always remember to be safe and be aware of your surroundings when you travel.

DCU PR and Strategic Communications masters student and contributor to Her Campus. Lover of coffee and hater of long commutes.
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